The Elements of Innovation Discovered

Articles from the December 14, 2022 edition

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  • A front loader dumping material in the Wyodak coal mine in Wyoming.

    DOE eyes mine waste for critical minerals

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Aug 15, 2023

    Funds 5 national labs to streamline critical minerals recovery process. In yet another round of funding, the U.S. Department of Energy announced $5.3 million in grants for five cutting-edge projects intended to advance research supporting the domestic production of rare earth elements and other critical minerals that are key to manufacturing clean energy technologies such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells. Under the purview of DOE's...

  • An artistic rendering of a fusion target being bombarded with lasers.

    A historic day for clean fusion energy

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    National Ignition Facility achieves landmark fusion energy breakeven. For the first time in history, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's National Ignition Facility have achieved one of the most significant milestones in energy research by attaining scientific energy breakeven through nuclear fusion. What this means is that for the first time ever, the output energy from the fusion reaction was more than the energy used to ignite the reaction. "This is a...

  • Computer image of lightning striking and pulverizing a rock pillar with stairs.

    BHP invests in new rock-crushing tech

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    I-ROX tech utilizes micro electrical bursts to pulverize at lower costs and less energy than traditional milling. Could microbursts of electricity be used to discover hidden mineral deposits, drill down into those discoveries for sampling, and then pulverize rock in the discovered deposits to extract the minerals contained within? BHP believes it is possible and is collaborating with I-Pulse Inc. to advance pulsed-power technology for mining. BHP is particularly interested in...

  • Digital image representing an EV being charged with low-carbon wind energy.

    Canada unveils critical mineral strategy

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    To seize upon a once-in-a-century opportunity to leverage Canada's already world-class mining sector to supply the minerals and metals needed to build the clean energy future, Ottawa has unveiled a strategy backed by a $3.8 billion (US$2.8 billion) investment to bolster the resiliency of critical mineral supply chains in the northern nation. Ottawa began positioning Canada as a major player at the front end of the emerging green energy supply chains with a 2021 list of 31...

  • Night vision image of six-wheeled army vehicle under the Milky Way.

    Senate bill aims to boost strategic metals

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Apr 16, 2023

    Senators Sullivan, Romney introduce bill to reduce DoD overreliance on China for minerals critical to security. Concerned that America is too reliant on China for the minerals and metals critical to national defense and energy security, U.S. senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) have introduced the Critical Mineral Independence Act of 2022 – legislation aimed at bolstering critical minerals production in the United States and allied countries. Over the past...

  • Closeup of person with mask and eyeglasses with one fogged and one clear lens.

    A new gold standard for antifog eyewear

    Shane Lasley, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 13, 2022

    Swiss researchers have developed a transparent gold nanocoating that vanquishes the perennial nemesis of glasses wearers – fogging. Unlike traditional antifogging methods, which uses hydrophilic coatings that evenly spread condensation across the surface of the glass, the micro-thin gold layer developed by scientists at ETH Zurich harnesses sunlight to passively heat the lenses to prevent fog from forming in the first place. This works on the same principle as the heating e...

  • A rendering of conventional li-ion battery chemistry and the new ORNL chemistry.

    ORNL process for cleaner cathode material

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 13, 2022

    Exploring new chemistries to reduce the necessity for critical metals needed for renewable energy, especially in the form of batteries, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a method for producing lithium-ion batteries without the need for cobalt. With the future expectantly being powered with batteries, all walks of studious life have been knuckling down to improve a nearly half-century-old technology that, until recently, was good enough – given the imperative need t...

  • The basalt cliffs overlooking the coast at Wallula Gap in Washington.

    PNNL studies carbon negative REE mining

    A.J. Roan, Metal Tech News|Updated Dec 13, 2022

    Chosen as one of 16 projects across 12 states, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's "Re-Mining Red Mud Waste for CO2 Capture and Storage and Critical Element Recovery" (RMCCS-CER) project will receive $1 million in funding to advance a technology that may kill two birds with one stone in the race for critical materials. Announced in November, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Mining Innovations for Negative...